Save this content for laterSave this content on your device for later, even while offline Sign in with FacebookSign in with your Facebook account Close

MOVIE REVIEW: 'Jobs' is solid biopic of Apple founder

By: Roger moore McClatchey Newspapers
August 15, 2013 Updated: August 15, 2013 at 1:35 pm
0
photo - Josh Gad and Ashton Kutcher star as Steve Wozniak and Steve Jobs in "Jobs," a biopic. Courtesy Endgame Entertainment.
Josh Gad and Ashton Kutcher star as Steve Wozniak and Steve Jobs in "Jobs," a biopic. Courtesy Endgame Entertainment. 

The new biopic "Jobs" is a solidly informative and entertaining "Brief History of Apple," as seen through the eyes of its co-founding genius. We experience 30 years of Steve Jobs' mercurial life and times, with plenty of tastes - but only tastes - of triumph plus a few dashes of comeuppance.

Arrogant, selfish, obsessive, an idealistic, perfectionist credit-hog who rolled over friends, adversaries, colleagues and lovers with a single-mindedness that fit his lurching, simian gait - the movie about him only has time to hint at what made the man tick and can only touch on his greatest hits and shortcomings.

It's superficial, but that plays into the hands of the film's star, Ashton Kutcher. He may be a screen lightweight, but the impersonation, starting with that famous walk, the famous explosions of temper and the hissing, spitting, insulting take-downs the man was famous for, are spot on.

The film is framed within the crowning glory of Jobs' and Apple's comeback, the 2001 arrival of the iPod, a music delivery device that was as "revolutionary" as every product Jobs pushed for and hyped. "Jobs" flashes back to the hippie kid who recognized talent, and then inspired, nagged, badgered talent to accept nothing less than products - personal computers, onward - for which "the market doesn't exist yet."

Director Joshua Michael Stern ("Swing Vote"), working from a Matt Whiteley script, is most at home underlining - complete with soaring violins on the soundtrack -the red-letter moments in Apple's history, especially early ones. The film captures the sad arc of the bromance between Jobs and tech whiz and soldering savant Steve Wozniak (Josh Gad). He basically invented the personal computer and went into business with Jobs not just for the challenge, the money and the adventure, but for the chance to hang out "with the coolest guy" he'd ever met.

"Jobs" details the odd diets, fast cars and Bob Dylan mania of its hero, but never really gets under the skin of this adopted kid craving acceptance. We understand his passion for design, but his "Eureka!" moments - realizing portable CD players are "junk," the unveiling of the Macintosh "1984" TV commercial - play as bland.

The boardroom intrigues (Dermot Mulroney, J.K. Simmons and Matthew Modine turn up as Apple bigwigs here) are a bit dull and tend to dominate the movie.

It makes for a decent but rushed film, and makes you wish this team and their effort had been aimed at a cable TV miniseries. Nothing less than the history of the modern world can be gleaned from this one life, and squeezing it into two hours makes "Jobs" more of a chore than it should be.

 

"Jobs"

Cast: Ashton Kutcher, Dermot Mulroney, Josh Gad, J.K. Simmons, Lukas Haas

Director: Joshua Michael Stern

Running time: 2 hours, 2 minutes

Rated: PG-13 for some drug content and brief strong language

Grade: C+

Register to the Colorado Springs Gazette
Incognito Mode Your browser is in Incognito mode

You vanished!

We welcome you to read all of our stories by signing into your account. If you don't have a subscription, please subscribe today for daily award winning journalism.

Register to the Colorado Springs Gazette
Register to the Colorado Springs Gazette
Subscribe to the Colorado Springs Gazette

It appears that you value local journalism. Thank you.

Subscribe today for unlimited digital access with 50% fewer ads for a faster browsing experience.

Already a Subscriber? LOGIN HERE

Subscribe to the Colorado Springs Gazette

It appears that you value local journalism. Thank you.

Subscribe today for unlimited digital access with 50% fewer ads for a faster browsing experience.

Subscribe to the Colorado Springs Gazette

Some news is free.
Exceptional journalism takes time, effort and your support.

Already a Subscriber? LOGIN HERE

articles remaining
×
Thank you for your interest in local journalism.
Gain unlimited access, 50% fewer ads and a faster browsing experience.